Your mind matters. What you think about and how you think about yourself is incredibly important to self-love.
You may know that it’s challenging to quiet the mind. All those swirling, whirling obsessions and worries drain your mental energy, and you probably even think things to yourself that leave you feeling disempowered. Have you ever made a mistake and thought, How stupid of me?, or attempted a new task with doubts of, I’m no good at this. Those thoughts are limiting you without even leaving your head.
The biggest hurdle to overcoming these self-limitations is realizing that you do it. Perhaps even reading this article is helping you learn something new right now? Take a moment to smile or hug yourself for all you’ve learned and are continuing to learn.
In practicing yoga, we are learning to connect with our bodies and our minds. We practice observing changes around us while existing in a state of calm.
Here’s an example to help make more sense of it all...
Imagine yourself as a grounded tree with roots deep into the earth.
This tree remains rooted, unwavering, even though the environment around it is changing. For example sake, we’ll pretend the forest around it has been built into an urban city over time. Neighboring trees were cut down and skyscrapers erected in their places. Yes, the tree has experienced some effects of its environmental changes such as, access to sunlight, soil quality, or even the amount of noise, but throughout time those same tree roots remain.
This tree may represent you, and all you've practiced, living in this world. In retrospect, the same concept applies to the mind within an individual.
Now imagine your mind as the tree roots and your thoughts as the city being built. Just because there’s new skyscrapers doesn’t mean you need to uproot your tree. Rather, just because your brain says things doesn’t mean it should define your identity.
Your mind may tell you all sorts of negativity - That’s stupid!, I can’t do this, I’ll never be good enough - but you don’t have to believe it. This is how the mind plays tricks. Instead, you can combat the trickery with self-loving expressions of, I am wonderful, I can do all I set my mind to, and I am whole just as I am.
You are the observer of your own thoughts.
Next time one of those pesky disempowering thoughts arise, simply notice it, observe it, and let it go. Then, fill your mind with a happy observance, and remind yourself that you’re worthy.
Over time, you’ll begin to better notice negative thoughts when they arise, and become more aware of the way your mind works. This comes with patience, practice, and, of course, self-love.
Living with this element of self-awareness will open pathways to personal development, unique to each and every individual, including you.
What’s a self-loving expression you’ve thought recently? Log in and let us know in the comments!